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Thursday, January 20, 2011

Competitive Running In Canada and a Lack of Online Presence

I love running. I love racing. There is very little that I find more motivating than watching other people race, be it live and in person, or by means of live streams or results from meets around the world.

I remember growing up in Sudbury and as a young man I would spend many Saturday afternoons glued to CBC Sports. They would often show highlights of track meets that happened around the world that week (the Golden league) as well as many world cup/championships in many other sports (triathlon, mountain biking,etc). These event formed within me the basis for my love of amateur sports, a love that nearly 20 years later is still strong.

Now that I've gotten back into serious running, competitive running, I've re-kindled my love for track meets and road races. I love being able to keep up on races that have happened over the weekend, be it in video, result or report form online. I've been finding lately, that this is getting harder and harder to do as a Canadian.

I guess it isn't truly that bad, but when I compare the coverage of American road races, track meets and marathons I just can't believe the discrepancy I'm seeing. So why do I feel the Canadian running scene is getting poor online coverage when compared to the US? Well let's see...

  • Next to no Online Video Coverage: I say this as a truth, but it isn't to say that none are presented online. In Ontario we've done a decent job with OFSAA and National Cross with RunnerSpace/Flotrack.  That's great to see and I want to see that continue.  But why aren't other events across the country filmed and hosted online for us to see?  Videos are a great tool for runners to study, how else can we immerse ourselves in what it could be like to race, without even racing? I won't even begin with the near prolific number of American races that are plastered online in video form.
  • There is 'No One Source' for Canadian Running Results: If I want to see what happened in British Columbia over the weekend, where do I go? I'd likely have to find the event listed somewhere, find out who hosted it and then visit their page to get to it. Heck, this even happens in Ontario.
  • We Don't Race As Much as the US: This is something we can't really change, the US has more runners, hence more chance for race coverage. We should still be mindful of this though and not forget it as we need to remember this is after all Canada and we barely have 10% of their population.
And that's about all I can think of.  So I guess it might come down to simply educating there currently a website that represents all of Canada that aggregates race videos, results and recaps so that I can see what is happening across the country? I hate having to wade through pages and pages of mindless dribble over at LetsRun and TnFNorth....there must be a better way?

And if there isn't, why hasn't anyone created one...and if they have, why did it fail?

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